NEW YORK -- Dish Network ( DISH) raised its buyout bid for Clearwire ( CLWR) to $4.40 a share, valuing the wireless network operator at $6.9 billion, and topping a bid from Sprint ( S). Dish's bid is 29% higher than Sprint's bid of $3.40 a share. Sprint owns a little more than 50% of Clearwire. Sprint raised its bid for Clearwire last week. Clearwire's board had recommended that shareholders vote in favor of Sprint's bid before Dish's latest offer. Clearwire shareholders are meeting Friday to vote on the deal. Berkshire Hathaway's ( BRK.A) energy subsidiary MidAmerican Energy is buying Las Vegas utility NV Energy ( NVE) for $23.75 a share in cash for an enterprise value of about $10 billion. Berkshire's Warren Buffet characterized the deal as a long-term bet on Nevada's recovering economy and an investment in NV Energy's strong management team. MidAmerican Energy will pay a 23% premium for NV Energy over Wednesday's closing price of $19.28. Berkshire Bets on Greening Nevada in $10B NV Energy DealCostco ( COST), the warehouse retailer, said Thursday it earned $459 million, or $1.04 a share, in its fiscal third quarter, up from year-earlier earnings of $386 million, or 88 cents a share. Analysts were expecting Costco to post earnings of $1.03 a share. Costco said net sales rose 8% to $23.55 billion and comparable-store sales for the quarter rose 5%. Priceline.com ( PCLN) said Wednesday it would be selling $1 billion worth of convertible notes, and subsequently using some of that money to add an additional $1 billion to its buyback program. Priceline Rises on $1B Buyback, Debt OfferingMoody's downgraded Alcoa's ( AA) credit rating into junk status on Wednesday, citing lower aluminum prices. Moody's said difficult industry trends and decreased aluminum prices will make it hard for the aluminum giant make its credit measurements investment-grade in 2013 or 2014. Joy Global ( JOY), the maker of mining equipment, is forecast by Wall Street to report on Thursday second-quarter earnings of $1.57 a share on revenue of $1.28 billion. 5 Defensive Stocks to Protect Your Portfolio Gains -- Written by Joseph Woelfel >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.